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Environmentalists eye protection for unique Delaware firefly

May 15, 2019 GMT

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Environmental groups are asking federal officials to take emergency action to protect a species of firefly unique to southern Delaware.

In an emergency petition filed Wednesday with the Department of the Interior, environmentalists claim the Bethany Beach firefly is at immediate risk of extinction because of imminent destruction of a significant portion of its habitat.

The filing comes partly in response to a planned residential development that would be accessible by a unique wooden cul-de-sac that has been built on pilings over one of the freshwater marshes where the firefly lives.


Environmentalists say threats to the bug also include sea level rise, climate change and mosquito-control pesticides.

The petition was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Both are based in Portland, Oregon.